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Can You Find Love and Romance In the Workplace?

Updated on May 12, 2016
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway in an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate human resources and consulting.

Finding Love At the Office: Risky Business?

Although companies often have policies limiting workplace romances, love at the office is thriving.  Could Romeo be only a cubicle away?  What are you willing to risk to find out?
Although companies often have policies limiting workplace romances, love at the office is thriving. Could Romeo be only a cubicle away? What are you willing to risk to find out? | Source

Is Romeo Only A Cubicle Away?

My great-grandmother used to say, "There ain't a pot too crooked that there ain't a lid to fit it." True, some people do have more dents and dings, scorch marks and missing handles. Finding that perfect fitting lid can feel downright impossible. But it's a matter of knowing where to look.

If you're single, have you considered that the biggest pool of potential dating partners might just be at the office? Could you have a potential love match sitting in the next department or even the next cube? Is it worth the risks to find out?

Did you know?  Couples who meet at work are more likely to marry.
Did you know? Couples who meet at work are more likely to marry. | Source

Boom Chicka Wow Wow

Many employees are willing to take their chances when it comes to dating their co-workers. Acceptance of the workplace as a place to meet possible dating partners varies by age, with millennial generation employees being considerably more open to dating coworkers and even their supervisors.1

Reader Experience Poll

Have you ever dated a coworker?

See results

Romance On Display

When you date a coworker, your romance is on display, like it or not.
When you date a coworker, your romance is on display, like it or not. | Source

Office Romance: More Common Than You Think

In a 2014 Vault.com survey, 56% of respondents acknowledged dating a coworker at some point in their careers2,3 Almost half of respondents in another survey (47%) reported observing romantic relationships in the workplace.4

Although couples who meet through work are more likely to marry, not everyone who participates in workplace dating is single.5 AshleyMadison.com, a website that connects people looking to commit adultery (whoa, seriously?), conducted a survey of its members and found that 37% of women and 46% of men have had an affair with a co-worker.6 Among these cheaters, 60% of men and 72% of women indicated that their first encounter with an affair partner was at an office holiday party.

Thus, it seems that amid tight deadlines, out-of-control e-mail, and office politics, there may also be love and romance. Boom chicka wow wow... .

When Love Blooms At Work

For single employees, the biggest available pool of potential suitors could be at work!
For single employees, the biggest available pool of potential suitors could be at work! | Source

Working Well With Others

Each week, you spend 40 hours or more working in the close company of like-minded people. With cubicle and office space at a premium, you overhear their conversations, both personal and professional.

You take lunch breaks together. You collaborate on projects, learn how they think, watch them succeed and fail. You observe how they handle stress and treat others.

You see what they're made of. And before you know it, cupid strikes. Strong organizational culture increases the likelihood that employees will date someone on the company team.7

Hey, Stay Professional

Public displays of affection can make workplace romances awkward for coworkers.
Public displays of affection can make workplace romances awkward for coworkers. | Source

A Coworker's Perspective: You Can't Un-Know Some Things

I never saw this one coming.

I complimented my coworker on how buoyant she looked. "Lauren" exuded new levels of confidence and wore a happy glow. She had replaced her usual dowdy outfits with trendy new work attire. She had dropped four dress sizes and highlighted her hair.

In just a few months, she had become a new woman. "So what's the secret to your success, Lauren?" I asked. I expected references to portion control and Zumba, but surely not this.

She beamed, "These days I am having a lot of sex! I mean A. Lot. Of. It. And he works right here in the office." There are some things you can't un-know.

Each of the men in our office was either married or gay. And when she told me who her clandestine cupid was, I couldn't erase the mental image of those two coworkers going at it.

Be kind to coworkers. Leave the details out.

Why Do Workers Date Their Collegues?

According to psychologists, four motives seem to drive workplace romances:8

  • similarity of interests and experiences
  • time - you share intimate details of your life with the people you spend the most time with
  • ease of opportunity - it's more convenient to date someone you already know than to meet someone new, and
  • hook-up - purely physical. (Didn't I say, "Boom chicka wow wow?")

Potential Benefits Of Dating Another Employee

If your heart is aflutter over a coworker, know that there are both pros and cons to striking up an office romance.

Positives include:

  • You have a built-in lunch partner, office ally, ride share partner, and date to official company functions.
  • You probably have similar work hours and holidays.
  • Going to work becomes exciting.
  • Your partner will understand the minutiae of your day because you share friends, colleagues, and even values.

But Romeo, beware. (And that goes for Juliette, too.) Office romances can come with huge risks that employees typically don't consider until it's too late.

Danger: Workplace Romances Come with Risks

Employees typically don't fully consider the downsides of dating a coworker, boss, subordinate, customer, or supplier.  Relationships can quickly become complicated.
Employees typically don't fully consider the downsides of dating a coworker, boss, subordinate, customer, or supplier. Relationships can quickly become complicated. | Source

The Downsides of Workplace Dating

There's love in the air, and you assume coworkers don't notice your new habit of lingering too long at your coworker's cubicle. You're also dressing nicer and swapping flirty glances and remarks.

If you think your romance is under their radar, you're probably wrong. Other employees do notice, and they talk about it, too. After all, most people are terrible at keeping secrets.9

Perceptions of Favoritism and Inequity

Are the other cats allowed on the table, too?  Perceptions of favoritism and preferential treatment can prompt jealousy, anger, and claims of workplace misconduct.
Are the other cats allowed on the table, too? Perceptions of favoritism and preferential treatment can prompt jealousy, anger, and claims of workplace misconduct. | Source

Best Piece Of Advice I've Heard On the Topic:

"Don't get your honey where you get your money."

Office romances can be complicated.
Office romances can be complicated. | Source

What Is A "Work Spouse?"

A "work husband" or "work wife" refers to a platonic relationship between two people who work closely together.

The special bond usually arises from working long hours and in close proximity to one another. In many ways, the relationship can resemble a marriage -- minus the physical intimacy.12 Work spouses share:

  • strong emotional support
  • vetting of ideas
  • advice and inspiration
  • practical help and
  • inside jokes and discussions regarding office politics.

According to Vault.com's 2014 survey, 38% of female respondents said they had a "work husband" and 27% of men said they had a "work wife."

Know Your Boundaries

To affair-proof your marriage to your real spouse and preserve your relationship with a work spouse, have a clear sense of boundaries. For example:

  • know what topics are inappropriate to discuss (e.g., details about your marriage, intimate subjects)
  • avoid drinking together, as alcohol reduces inhibitions
  • avoid physical contact that your real spouse would disapprove of (e.g., hugs)
  • introduce real and work spouses, and
  • keep communication open with other co-workers and your real spouses.

Do You Know the Risks?

Downsides of finding romance at the office include:

  • concerns about distraction and loss of productivity
  • awkward workplace dynamics: Particularly when an office romance ends, tension can arise in work groups. Trust is questioned and coworkers take sides. Team assignments and tight deadlines can become miserable experiences -- for both the former love birds and their team mates.
  • being the subject of office gossip: Gossip wastes valuable work time and fosters distrust and dissatisfaction. It can also ruin reputations. Women are more frequently the targets of gossip. 8 They are also more likely to be suspected of using their relationships to get ahead (e.g., "sleeping her way to the top") and being overly loyal to their romantic partners. Employees who date coworkers thus could find their judgment questioned and career prospects damaged.
  • Sometimes, there's just no getting over you. Failed office romances have been known to result in stalking, retaliation threats, or worse. Don't think it cannot happen to you. As a former HR Investigator, I have investigated multiple complaints involving scorned spouses who sought public revenge. You don't know how ugly a situation can get until a jealous spouse seeks retribution for an office affair.
  • legally actionable allegations of workplace and criminal misconduct - You might perceive that your sexual advances are welcome. You might think that after a coworker has turned you down, it's okay to be persistent and ask again (and again after that). But especially if you are a manager dating a subordinate, you could find yourself the subject of allegations of misconduct that range from sexual harassment to false imprisonment, assault and battery to defamation. Sexual harassment can cost companies not only large monetary settlements but also expenses related to investigating, litigating, and arbitrating complaints. And when it costs your company, it's probably gonna cost you, too.
  • resentment among coworkers who can feel angry, jealous, uncomfortable, and intimidated -- especially if the office romance involves a boss and subordinate. Even the perceptions of sexual favoritism or preferential treatment of a romantic partner are a potential recipe for disaster.

ABC News 20/20 Reports On Modern Office Romances

Love Is A Splendid Thing

Dating a coworker can make work exciting.
Dating a coworker can make work exciting. | Source

Office Romances: What's An Employer To Do?

Employers cannot stop people from dating and falling in love in the workplace. However, they can try to manage the associated risks.

Companies usually take one of the following approaches:

Option 1: Outlaw Romance In the Workplace - Some employers strictly prohibit employees from forming romantic attachments to other company employees. However, this approach is hard to enforce. It generally sends people "underground." Who wants a workforce that lies and sneaks around?

Option 2: Let People Use Common Sense - With an eye on controlling legal liability, other employers adopt policies that strictly forbid managers from dating any subordinate in their chain-of-command. Otherwise, they expect dating employees to use common sense in conducting themselves professionally.

Option 3: Cupid Contracts - Love or cupid contracts are another option. Companies adopting this approach require dating employees to notify Human Resources (HR). This "dating declaration" puts the company on notice that the relationship is consensual. Dating employees acknowledge relevant policies, assure that they will engage in professional work behavior, and agree to notify the company when the relationship is over.

Regardless of the option chosen, employers that are subject to federal and state civil rights laws should at minimum have anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies in place, including a clear process for reporting and investigating complaints. Additionally, a solid conflict of interest policy should outline expectations about mixing business and personal relationships (e.g., with suppliers, competitors, or customers). Consult an attorney for legal advice.

Source

Famous People Who Met Their Mates Through Work

Famous Couple
When Met & Married
Google co-founder Sergey Brin met Anne Wojcicki when Wojcicki's sister, a Google executive, sublet her garage to him in the company's early days. Brin also met his current girlfriend, Amanda Rosenberg, at work.
Met 1998, Married 2007, Separated 2013
Barack Obama met his wife, Michelle, when he was a summer associate at a Chicago law firm. At first she rejected his requests for a date, but when he offered to quit his job, she accepted his invitation.
Met 1989, Married 1992
Bill Gates, then-CEO of Microsoft, sat next to Microsoft employee Melissa Ann French at a trade-fair dinner.
Met 1987, Married 1994
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich had a six-year affair with an Agriculture Committee clerk, Callista Bisek. He divorced his second wife shortly after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Met 1993, Married 2000
Faith Hill was the opening act for country crooner Tim McGraw during his "Spontaneous Combustion" tour.
Met 1996, Married in 1997

Love At Work: Impossible to Prevent, Challenging to Manage

Before dating a co-worker, know your company's policies.
Before dating a co-worker, know your company's policies. | Source

Reader Opinion Poll

Are office romances worth the risk?

See results

Workplace Romances: Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket?

Workplace romances can be like putting all your eggs in one basket.  Things can get messy!  Beware of the impacts.
Workplace romances can be like putting all your eggs in one basket. Things can get messy! Beware of the impacts. | Source

5 Tips From HR: Before You Date A Fellow Employee

1. Know Your Company's Policies - Before you ask out your crush in the next cubicle, understand what policies govern your employment. Yes, reading policies are boring. However, you could get fired for breaking them.

Wondering where to start first? Try the company's anti-harassment policy and the conflict of interest policy. Ask your boss or HR if you have questions about where to obtain company policies, or if you want to discuss whether workplace dating is permitted. They may have objective, time-tested advice for you.

2. Think It Through - Consider whether you want to put all your eggs in one basket (e.g., both your career and your love life). How much do you really know about your coworker's character outside of work? Consider taking the relationship slow.

Be cautious if your love interest has a history of dating others in the workplace. Your situation could get very complicated. Think through the practical repercussions : What if the relationship does not end well? (The same considerations go for dating a customer, competitor, or supplier.) Also, watch that pillow talk.

And if you're a manager who seeks to date an employee in your department? Cool your jets and go read that anti-harassment policy again. Remember, too, that bosses have higher standards of ethical reporting and are expected to be more knowledgeable regarding potential risks.

3. Taming the Rumor Mill - Word travels fast, even if you're trying to control how and when others find out about your relationship.

One study found that even though many employees had participated in office romances themselves, most employees had a negative perception of it. They also tended to direct their anger or annoyance towards the female in the relationship through gossip.10

Coworkers generally respond better when they find out about the relationship directly, rather than through gossip.11 Your boss in particular needs to hear the news from you.

4. Don't Be A Digital Dum-Dum - Don't transmit images or messages using company equipment that you wouldn't want your grandma or the entire world to see. (Think: Internet). Keep your personal and professional social network accounts separate. Also, be clear on the digital information access you might be providing electronic friends or followers. Many "secrets" have been accidentally divulged through social media.

5. Nobody Needs To See That: Declare Work A PDA-Free Zone - At work, avoid physical contact with your love interest. Public Displays of Affection (PDAs) tend to offend and will harm your professional image. Also, be sure you are both on the same page regarding the status of your relationship, and agree on when and how you want to present it to others.

Strongly Worded Ballad: 99 Slang Words for Having Sex

The rumor mill may use some of these terms regarding you and your coworker. Is your attraction so strong that you're willing to risk it?

If Love Turns Cold, Then What?

Think about the repercussions of an office romance that doesn't end well.
Think about the repercussions of an office romance that doesn't end well. | Source

Notes

1Fisher, A. (2013, June 7). Why your office romance is your employer’s business. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2013/06/07/why-your-office-romance-is-your-employers-business/.

2Adams, Susan. "The State of The Office Romance, 2012." Forbes. Last modified February 10, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/02/10/the-state-of-the-office-romance-2012/.

3Vault.com. "Love Is In The Air: Vault's 2014 Office Romance Survey." Last modified February 12, 2014. http://www.vault.com/blog/workplace-issues/love-is-in-the-air-vaults-2014-office-romance-survey/.

4Workplace Options. "Millennials More Likely to be Smitten with Superiors, Co-Workers." Last modified February 8, 2012.

5Styles, Ruth. "Relationships that begin in the workplace most likely to result in marriage new study reveals." Mail Online. Last modified September 29, 2013. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2437181/Relationships-begin-workplace-likely-result-marriage-new-study-reveals.html.

6The Huffington Post. "Office Affairs Begin At Holiday Parties, AshleyMadison.com Reports." Last modified December 7, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/office-affairs_n_2213942.html.

7Moneywatch.com. "Office Romance: 3 Rules for a Workplace Relationship." CBS News. Last modified July 13, 2010. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/office-romance-3-rules-for-a-workplace-relationship/.

8Horan, Sean M. "Workplace Romance Motives." Psychology Today. Last modified June 5, 2013. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adventures-in-dating/201306/workplace-romance-motives.

9Sloat, Sarah. "You can’t keep a secret for long." Salon.com. Last modified November 21, 2013. http://www.salon.com/2013/11/21/you_cant_keep_a_secret_for_long_partner/.

10Drexler, Peggy. "The Sexist Truth About Office Romances." The Daily Beast. Last modified April 3, 2013. http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/03/the-sexist-truth-about-office-romances.html.

11Borreli, Lizette. "Office Romance: How Coworkers' View Of Workplace Relationships Influences Behavior In Couples." Medical Daily. Last modified February 10, 2014. http://www.medicaldaily.com/office-romance-how-coworkers-view-workplace-relationships-influences-behavior-couples-268995.

12Dr. Phil.com. "How to Keep Boundaries with a “Work Spouse”." Accessed February 16, 2014. http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/693.

Love Match: Sometimes You Just Can't Stop Love

Couples who meet through work are more likely to marry than those introduced by mutual friends.  Good luck in finding your love match -- in the workplace or elsewhere!
Couples who meet through work are more likely to marry than those introduced by mutual friends. Good luck in finding your love match -- in the workplace or elsewhere! | Source

© 2014 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

      Savvy - You have some great experience. If you're going to date someone at work, i's best to keep it low key and professional from the start, as you have described. People love gossip as well as drama, and there's nothing like an office romance to get tongues a-wagging. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 2 months ago

      I've dated a number of men who I've met through various workplaces, but they almost always worked in another department; I didn't see them everyday at work. I've been lucky. Never had any problems, surprisingly enough. That being said, it is always important to be very discreet because gossip is an ugly thing...

      Anyway, one of my co-workers, after having been told by my dating partner, who was also her friend, that we had been dating for awhile, was very surprised. She said,"Wow, I would never have guessed." I don't even make eye contact in the office, unless necessary, when I have made the choice to date within the Company.

      However, I stopped dating from within 15 years ago. Great advice here, Flourish!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

      Commonsensethink - You provide an excellent description of what can go wrong. It's awkward and distracting at best.

    • profile image

      Commonsensethink 16 months ago

      The thing that bothers me most is the point that you raise about relationships failing.

      If a romance goes South and the two parties are on different sides of town, then all you have to handle is a sulky, occasionally embittered individual who doesn't concentrate properly upon his/her work for a few days.

      If both parties are in the same office, it can get loud, angry, and often very hostile. It distracts other people who have to get their work done, and if you have a critical project deadline to meet, that can significantly impact people outside the company as well.

      Reallocating desks has never been the solution either - from some of the experiences that I have had in offices, the two parties can be seen wearing out the carpet to the other person's workspace in order to indulge themselves in noisy interchanges that serve no good purpose.

      And when one of the parties has ditched the other for another person in the office (and this can be quite gruesome) very loud three-way arguments can ensue.

      Given human nature there is no way that offices romances are going to be stopped entirely, and while they should be discouraged (even in good times they can be a distraction), in my experience trying to place a ban on such will simply not work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Au fait - It can be risky business, although many people cannot resist. When break-ups go bad, it's hard for people to stay professional. Thanks for taking the time to read and add your perspective.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Always drew the line at coworkers regardless of their position and even friends of coworkers. The last thing I need, as I told a previous boss who asked how I felt about dating fellow employees, is to go to work and find my 'rating' on the bulletin board. I told him, after that I 'd never have time for anything because the line to my door would be so very long. No thank you, I don't want to spend the rest of my life living up to that rating. ;)

      Congratulations on another HODT!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Peg - I learned a thing or two when I first watch that video, too! Thanks for the return visit.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This one drew me in again and this time I watched the video, 99 words. Wow, half of them I'd never heard but they were certainly creative.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - I wonder if there's any harm in looking out of the corner of your eye? But not touching of course.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Congrats on the HOTD! Well-deserved for sure.

      I am smiling after reading Jackie's comment here. Tee hee

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Linda - Thank you. I appreciate your stopping by. Have a great week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ChitrangadaSharan - Thank you for reading and taking the time to weigh in. Oftentimes everyone knows about the office flirtations, whether people are publicize it or not. You just cannot hide some things for long.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Paula - Thanks for the comment and kind words. With more than 7 billion people in the world, it makes me wonder sometimes why people pick the ones they do. Have a great week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Cynthia - Thanks for the kind comment. There is quite some risk if you enjoy or depend on the job. I find it fascinating that when one partner leaves it seems to be the female. Have a great week and thanks for reading!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on a well deserved HOTD, Flourish! I don't know how I missed this hub when it was first published, but I'm very glad that I noticed it today. It's an interesting, useful and attractive hub.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is awesome and quite well deserved HOTD!

      Enjoyed going through this well written hub with many interesting and thought provoking points.

      Good understanding between colleagues and co workers is very essential for the company's growth and prosperity. But that is the basis of a good relationship as well. In such cases attraction towards male/ female co workers at workplaces is obvious. Sometimes it may turn into love as well and this is true and I have seen this happening.

      Great hub, voted up!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      That one quote made me laugh, about not getting your honey where you get your money! Too funny! That said, that is kind of my general thoughts on things with workplace environments and relationships. Its just so much risk. I feel the same way about family members. Its just better not too. However, if it is meant to be, and they wouldn't have met any other way, then who am I to say don't consider it? Congrats on your HOTD, it is such a well done hub, I am not surprised!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Congratulations again! Wow, you really nailed the dynamics and dilemmas of this office romance issue! Like your grandmother's apt metaphors, I think I've heard something like "be careful not to foul your own nest" in reference to office love affairs... if you have a job you like, or even a job that pays the bills these days, perhaps it is a good idea to go looking for love elsewhere, or in the case of those persons who are already married, to take stock of what they already have invested their hearts in. I think that there is quite a lot of risk in engaging Cupid at the office, as you pointed out.

      Thanks for a superlative encouragement for folks to not leave their houses without their ethics.

      ~Cynthia

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Rhonda - Thank you kindly!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Major congratulations. Awesome article most worthy of HOTD. This was informative yet funny and interesting. Kudos!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      mary615 - Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your reading and commenting. Have a great weekend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      pstraubie48 - Although not always the case, it's awesome that it worked out for you. That's all that matters! Have a wonderful weekend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      mio cid - Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Deborah - I'm happy that your situation worked out for you both and now you're your own boss!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      poetryman6969 - Now that would be embarrassing indeed. They may say it whether it's true or not and the fact they're an ex-lover may give them a bit more credence.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      eilval - Thank you for reading and taking time to comment.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I never dated a coworker; just was never attracted to one. I would not have hesitated to date if I had been attracted, though!

      Congrats on HOTD!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Becoming romantically involved can pose all kinds of unwanted side effects. Years ago, 32 years ago, I found love at the school where I was working.

      It was fortunately a wonderful relationship that blossomed and became a friendship that lasts even today.

      That is not always the case I know.

      You have done a remarkable thorough job of providing much food for thought here

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Carolyn - Thank you for stopping by. I was surprised to learn this today! Have a great weekend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Jacquelyn - thank you for reading and weighing in. So many people here have met partners at work! Have a terrific weekend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Sally - I'm so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for leaving a comment to let folks know. Have a good weekend!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Heidi - Thanks so much for your support. You point out a very compelling scenario there with the company secrets being pillow talk between competitors. I'm sure the lawyers would cite noncompete and confidentiality agreements but there's only so much they can practically do. I was always fascinated that James Carvale and Mary Madalin got together given their political positions in opposing camps.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Can't be recommended I am afraid, one such office affair tore my world apart and left it in tatters.

    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 2 years ago from Uruguay

      I think love and romance can be found in any situation and it should be of no concern to any other person but the two people involved,be them family, coworkers, or friends.And now I will follow you because your hubs are of much human relations importance.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 2 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Very well written and interesting. I have dated a coworker in the past. We didn't break up, but I did find another job, but not because of him.

      Nowadays, I work for myself, so that could get boring!

      Namaste

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Flirting is great but it's too complicated when you get involved at work. You know all the things they would prefer that no coworkers knew and she knows that about you too. For those of you who like to dress up like a baby in diaper and have your significant other dress up as Maggie Thatcher the dominatrix, this could be embarrassing if you ex let's slip!

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 2 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Fascinating hub pointing out the advantages but also risks of office romance - so much fun to read .

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 2 years ago

      Hi Flourish! Congrats for being hub of the day! Great article, lots of interactive and fun tid bits here!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Bill - Thanks for the kind compliment. Have a great weekend!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always good to see good writers get some recognition. Well done, my friend.

    • Jacquelyn fuller profile image

      Jacquelyn fuller 2 years ago from Woonsocket, Rhode Island

      Yes I believe that we can find love in the workplace but it all depends what we do with love. It was often said that we should never miss business with emotions but if we learn to work together and build each other up yes we can find love in the workplace. We can find a lot of things in the workplace as long as we can keep an open mind and be positive and do not abuse the situation and make it right...

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      Cheryl Kohan 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I loved this hub! You did a great job...interesting, informative and fun. My husband and I worked for the same company but in different offices in different parts of the city. Met him through a co-worker but I changed companies before we started dating.

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      How did I miss this one when you first published it? Good review of the topic and BIG congrats on Hub of the Day!

      I knew of a company that would not allow married couples to work at the same company. So what if one quits and goes to work for a competitor? I don't know which situation would be worse: Having married couples working together or having a couple work for competitors? You're right, this is a subject loaded with legal landmines! And the "work spouse" scenario is definitely a thing.

      Anyway, great HR insight as always and love the kitty pic. Happy Weekend!

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Sunshine625 - Well Miss Linda! Thank you for sharing that wonderful tidbit about yourself! Have a great weekend.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Bill - It could lead to a very sticky situation.

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      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I support workplace romances since I married two bosses! Didn't see the relationships coming. Of course one of us had to leave so I had no problem doing that both times. It all depends if the relationship is worth it :) Congrats on HOTD!

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      mySuccess8 - Thank you for such a thoughtful comment and for letting me know about HOTD! I have worked with plenty of married and dating co-workers and many times it is awkward at best for the entire staff. I appreciate your reading.

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      Billy Buc 2 years ago

      Warning - Don't get your honey where you get your money.

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      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      We all know romance can develop anywhere, but workplace romance is very complex because it is not just about a relationship between two persons, but a relationship with the co-workers, the work environment and the productivity of the company, as you have clearly explained. You have done a really comprehensive and interesting review on this subject, especially touching on its several benefits and negative aspects. In some companies that I know, once two co-workers got married, they have to be transferred to two different departments within the company, to avoid any conflict of interest. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Clay - I agree with you. Too much potential for conflict and drama. Mixing where you get your honey and where you get your money is a gamble. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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      Clay Coppage 2 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      I would lean toward avoiding workplace relationships. I had a boss once use the phrase 'never dip the pen in the office's ink' which has stuck with me. It's easy to form friendships in an office setting where you are forced to be around people of the opposite gender, and friendships can lead to flirtation and then a relationship, but unless one of you plans on leaving the company at some point I really don't think it would be worth it. Too much room for drama and pain. The workplace relationship-fantasy is probably rarely if ever worth it. Enjoyed the topic, good hub :).

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rajan - It can be a precarious situation, and love usually wins.

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Useful read and yes there are more risks attached to this type of dating. Taking a plunge after considering all the pros and cons is a must.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Hi, Vicki - Glad you found love at the office! It can indeed get awkward when things head south. Thanks for reading and sharing your story.

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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is interesting! And of course coworkers date! Those are the people workers spend the most time with. Who has much time to socialize outside of work? Most of my best friends have come through jobs, too. I met my boyfriend at work and we've been dating over ten years. I would avoid dating a supervisor or employee, though. That could get someone into trouble.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Zainab - Thanks for reading, pinning, and shumbling (?). I'm happy that you enjoyed it so.

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      Musu Bangura 3 years ago from Nation's Capital

      I absolutely love this article! Thank you for taking the time to write about such a delicate topic! I hope you don't mind, I recommended your article to pinterest and stumbleupon. Voted up!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Suzanne - Work is definitely one place. Online is another option that is quite popular these days. Glad I never had to deal with that online dating stuff. A coworker used to fill me in on her adventures with Match.com.

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      justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

      You know, these days there's hardly anywhere else to meet anyone, yet dating co workers always seems to be frowned upon. Good information, well presented! Voted up, useful and interesting! :)

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Linda - Glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      That's good advice all around. Office romances can be so tricky.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Joelle - I used to work for a company with a strong corporate culture, and there were a fair number of married and dating couples. The company did have a cutback and it was strange because sometimes one partner would lose their job and the other wouldn't. I'm sure it became very awkward for them at home. It was sometimes awkward dealing with them at work. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I suppose that the workplace might be an interesting place to meet your other half but it is not so interesting if things go bad. If people get married and than divorce after a while, it's not easy for both parties to continue to work a the same place.

      Another side also with working in the same company is when the company is downsizing and both lose their jobs... it becomes double the stress!

      When you meet your partner at work, it also give a chance to know the other person as he or she really is before it's getting to personnal.

      I didn't meet my husband at work... but we met in high school. We both had the chance to see how the other one was acting before getting in a relationship :-)

      Another interesting hub, Flourish!

      PS : I love your "Boom Chicka Wow Wow"... I am learning English everyday :-)

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Cherylann - You're a wise lady. When it doesn't work out, things can get weird. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Cherylann Mollan profile image

      Cherylann Mollan 3 years ago from India

      I enjoyed reading this hub! It's true that there is a lot of dating potential at the work place but I'm still skeptical about workplace romances. It's a waking nightmare when things go bad! After all, you have to spend almost the entire day in the office and then dealing or even running into this one-time Romeo (or Juliet) becomes a real task!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jo - Thanks for reading and for the kind compliment.

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      jo miller 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Great research on this subject.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      K Kiss - Thanks for stopping by!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Writer Fox - Ooooh have I seen the ugly side of workplace romances gone wrong in doing those HR investigations. You cannot make some of that stuff up. Cra-cra!

    • K Kiss profile image

      K Kiss 3 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      Best not to.

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      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Sometimes these relationships can backfire big time! I think you did a splendid review of this subject. Voted up!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Crafty - I cannot imagine working side-by-side with my husband for 60 years. One of us would be a widow/widower.

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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Another enjoyable Hub. I could never have had a relationship in my work place. First, I'm too high-strung and I take charge. So, it would probably drive me crazy trying to focus on work and deal with an office romance. I am also on the bossy side at times. My husband's parents have worked together for over 60 years in family business ventures. They owned a restaurant and other businesses. I give them a lot of credit.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Eddy - Thank you for stopping by.

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      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and a wonderful read Flourish; I vote up for sure and wish you a great day.

      Eddy.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Suzanne - I agree with you. Dating a boss is just asking for trouble.

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      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Well you do get to know people pretty well in the workplace, even though they may behave "professionally" a lot. I have dated quite a few workplace colleagues, though I would never date a boss due to the dependency factor (don't want to lose a job over something as stupid as a breakup). Some workplace romances can be very nice....as long as you have a tiny bit of distance between you in the place, so you don't get sick of each other or just shag and that's it (shagging can be embarrassing when you have to face rumours). Voted awesome.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - Sometimes it does work out! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Liz - Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting. I know many couples who met at work so sometimes it all works out. I also know others for whom it did not work out and it can be very awkward. Great hub Flourish. Interesting video :)

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very interesting and enjoyable hub!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ker - That's a very professional approach. There is something about seeing people at the top of their game. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      My partner and I used to work togheter... I think there is so much in the fact that you acctually do something you really good at, that makes you attractive. That is how I fell for my partner, we worked togheter, tight in a project. We have kept our privat life strictly outside the office, I think that's really important. A work place is for work and not love.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Nell - What a testimonial! Thanks for sharing your story. You have to wonder that for every marriage that comes out of meeting through work, how many situations are there that mirror your own?

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      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      This was fascinating flourish, and something I know very much about! I had an affair with a guy at work, and it was a nightmare with the other people. gossips and bitchiness, back stabbing, other women trying to get into 'my patch' so to speak, especially one girl, and when we broke up it was so appalling to try to work together I actually just up and left the job! never ever again! Its just not worth the job, its not worth the pain of breakup! great hub, and voted up and shared! nell

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sha - I know what you're saying. I have been pigeonholed in the past, too, and enjoy the freedom to write about whatever I like.

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Yes, I have Flourish. My mind has always been very active. I've held many different positions throughout my life. I bore easily and have an aptitude for many things (especially math related). I think the reason I finally returned to writing for a living is because a writer can touch on so many different areas. It also allows the creative self to come forth. Too often in the corporate world, our creativity takes a back seat and that's very sad. I want no regrets when I leave this world.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sha - You certainly have lived an interesting life!

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Flourish, my second ex-husband and I used to work together. We both worked for an specialty aluminum structures fabrication company. I was the purchasing agent and he worked in the shop. We dated for a bit, then he moved in and we got married about 6 months after that. We divorced 6 years later. It was rather distracting working together. I was always looking for excuses to go out to the shop. Fortunately, my position had me out there quite often. It's hard not to find someone you're attracted to at work (unless they're all dogs!). After all, you spend most of your life at work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - There are so many pros and cons. That's the thing -- you just don't know. Glad to get your perspective, lady! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - Many people have dated a coworker or two over the years. Glad you stopped by!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      You have written of both sides of the issue. I think it is really not a good thing, just because if and when it goes wrong, so awkward and may cause a lot of disturbances in the workplace. Although, I can see the convenience of meeting someone there, but what do I know, as I have been married since a young age LOL.

      Up and more

      Have a great week,

      Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had to stop and think about this one for a second...yes, I did date a co-worker...it did not turn out well at all. In fact, I think it was doomed from the start. I enjoyed this one my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      PegCole17 - You're absolutely right. It's all quite titillating until someone changes his/her mind. As long as people know what they're doing ...

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This was interesting Flourish, and well researched. Both from a personal and professional viewpoint, I've watched these romances develop at the workplace. It's all good until a break-up happens, then it becomes touchy. At a former workplace, a really sticky situation arose between two managers where I was sometimes put in the middle. It was difficult. One lost their job and ruined a life career while the other replaced him/her in the department, which on reflection, seemed to have been the objective.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Dora - Rational hearts usually don't prevail when it comes to love and romance. From having investigated allegations of misconduct that arose when love didn't work out in the office, I can attest that most level-headed people can do crazy things when it comes to romance. But if you're in a different department and company policy doesn't forbid it, work can be a good way to meet others.

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      Raymond Philippe 3 years ago from The Netherlands

      What a well balanced hub. Loved it.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I like the potential benefits; I would just have to be levelheaded enough to keep it going. You dealt thoroughly with the pros and cons. Voted Up!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Devika - Thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed both reading and looking at the videos.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Can You Find Love and Romance In the Workplace is so interesting. At work it does not sound a good idea. Great videos and you always manage to come up with a surprise title. Voted up!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Frank - I do enjoy writing hubs with a bit of sass to them. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jackie - It's all fun and games til someone gets hurt. That first video showed a workplace that could make any HR person cringe.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      I really enjoyed this hub.. some of the quotes.. even your poll I can say nor deny..LOL you should continue these types of hub.. they are so much fun to read....:)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I don't know if I think you should have romance at work but I think it makes work a lot more fun having a cute guy to watch! Liked that first video. ^+

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